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Tulsa Geological Society


Tulsa Geological Society Digest
Vol. 27 (1959), Pages 52-53

Geology Adds Profits to Waterflooding: Abstract

H. A. Nelson1


If a man came into your office with a plan to help you become known as an oil-finder and a profit-maker, would you listen? Of course you would, for each of you know that if a geologist is an oil-finder and a profit-maker, he is one of the most valuable men in his organization. I say "profit-maker" as well as "oil-finder" because sometimes oil is found in sizable quantities, yet no profit is made. Management is more interested in profit and in return on investment than in how many barrels of reserves are developed. Top executives in any organization tend to be selected from oil-finders and profit-makers.

The geologist's primary responsibility is to locate new primary reserves, but the wise geologist can use the development of waterflood reserves to enhance his reputation as an oil-finder and a profit-maker. The search for secondary reserves should not sidetrack him from his primary objective, but he should consider secondary reserves as an important supplement to primary reserves.

How can geology add profits to waterflooding? The geologist can play an important role in four ways: (1) finding waterflooding prospects, (2) evaluating them, (3) aiding in the installation, and (4) aiding in the evaluation after operations are fully under way. While a geologist is analyzing nearby producing fields to gather basic information pertinent to the study of a new prospect, he can apply a few basic rules to determine the waterflooding possibilities. After a waterflooding prospect has been found, the geologist can prepare a detailed evaluation, such as the delineation of the limits of the field. The installation of the flood can be expedited by the geologist's study of optimum locations for the drilling of new injection or producing wells and the conversion of wells to injection wells. All through the operational life of the flood the geologist can analyze and advise on such problems as water channeling and reaction to water injection to obtain the ultimate recovery.

We have discussed the ways in which a geologist can add profits to waterflooding. If you're sold on the idea, here are five basic rules whereby you can detect potential waterflooding projects for a joint detailed study by the engineering and geological departments.

1. The field has had a good primary recovery history, a minimum of 1500-2000 barrels per acre.

2. The sand is contiguous.

3. The primary producing method has not been a water drive.

4. Areal extent sufficient to interest your company.

5. Sufficient wells to install a pilot flood without re-drilling the field.

You realize of course that these factors are merely rules of thumb, and it is not necessary that all five rules be met. For instance, if a field has been completely plugged out but the primary recovery was 5000 barrels per acre, then it could be an excellent waterflooding project. Combinations of the above factors might change your ideas, but these merely point out the things to look for.

It should be understood that you may not find any waterflooding prospects, or if you do, your company may not be able to buy them. Regardless, remember that you have an important role other than in finding new prospects. If one is found, then your detailed study will be invaluable in installing and operating the flood to depletion.

Now when I started out I asked if you would like to become an oil-finder and a profit-maker. If you are interested, here is just another way in which you can achieve that enviable position of being known as an oil-finder and a profit-maker.


Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes

1 Blackwell Oil & Gas Company, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Copyright © 2006 by the Tulsa Geological Society